Two crew dead after vessel collision, sinking off Japan

Two crew dead after vessel collision, sinking off Japan
Sumiho Maru. PHOTO: Kyodo

Two crew members have been confirmed dead following a collision of two Japan-flagged cargo ships on Sunday morning.

The vessel Sensho Maru sank after colliding with Sumiho Maru some 12 kilometers off Cape Inubosaki in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture.

The ship sank immediately after the collision and was subsequently located 30 meters below the surface near the collision site.

There were five crew members aboard the ship at the time of the collision. One sailor was found dead on Sunday while the captain was rescued. According to latest media reports, another sailor was confirmed dead while two more remain unaccounted for.

Local coast guard officials informed that a faint knocking sound was heard from the Sensho Maru on Monday after a diver struck the vessel’s hull with a hammer during search operations. Relevant authorities are investigating whether the sound was made by a missing crew member.

The crew of Sumiho Maru escaped the incident unharmed.

Besides the search and rescue operation, the Japanese coast guard also sent a unit to respond to a confirmed oil spill.